Being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes is not the best news you can receive, but it doesn’t have to be the worst. Of all diseases to be diagnosed with, Type 2 Diabetes, at least, is one that you can take the reins with and take control. There are many things a Type 2 Diabetes patient can do to help maintain control over the disease, many of which are not difficult.
The question comes down to your own commitment to yourself, as well as to the others who surround you in your world. For much of your control, adopting small lifestyle changes will prove to help towards your success.
The following fifteen commandments are broken down into four mini commandments! Diet, Exercise, Medication, Stress Management.
1. Be true to yourself! If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you can take control of your disease! You can do things that will affect your management of your Type 2 Diabetes and you have control over how well you do them. Stay educated. Learn as much as you can about how best to take care of yourself. (American Diabetes Association is a great resource!)
2. Diet is the biggie. There are many resources available online and off that outline healthy and delicious meals and snacks for the success seeking Diabetic. Ultimately your diet will play a large role in determining how well you control your Diabetes or don’t. Once you get used to this, it’s not so hard! And, it feels a whole lot better to eat well!
3. Understanding how carbs affect insulin production and how proteins and sugars act in our bodies can help you understand how to shape your meals, snacks and general overall diet. Just learn to say “Nope” to certain foods you discover will simply not work well for you! It’s just a word that can turn out to mean so much to you when you use it at the right times!
4. Walk on by those foods that aren’t good for you when you have to grocery shop. Leave them there if you can and avoid their temptations if you bring them home.
5. Indulge in your favorite breakfast cereal but use a smaller bowl than you may have used before. Changing the size of your bowl makes it easier to fill it up without the guilt or the extra carbs you would otherwise take in.
6. Eat slower. That’s right. Take your time. This is an all-around healthier step, Diabetic or not.
7. Serve yourself smaller portions. This is especially helpful and ties into number 2 where you are eating more slowly.
8. Ditch seconds. You won’t need more servings if you commit yourself to eating slower. You will naturally fill up and won’t have the need to go back and get more. After all, in many circumstances, it could have been those seconds or thirds that helped you put on the weight that got you into trouble in the first place.
9. Get moving! This is probably the most important step of all. It’s a lot easier to watch and manage what’s on the fork as you lift it to your mouth, than it is, sometimes to get moving! Being active is key in successful management of your Type 2 Diabetes. If you’re not used to being very active, take on smaller changes at first and graduate yourself to bigger ones as you “move along.” Take, for example, these thoughts:
When you park your car at the store or in any parking lot, don’t make a point to search for the closest parking space. Instead, make a point to find one a good walking distance away. Force yourself to walk further and more often.
Try and take a walk outside every day, even if it is just for ten minutes in the beginning. The fresh air will also feel wonderful.
Take up an exercise plan. If you’re not used to this, which many people may not be, start out slow, but commit to beefing it up as you go. This is a step that is one of the hardest to start, but that pays the highest dividends to you when you do.
Ride a bike or even an exercise bike.
Take stairs when you can instead of elevators or escalators. Even if you have to take them slowly, do so, and get your heart beating.
Get off your couch!Get off and go clean something, fix something, or take care of something that has been on your list for a while. Being productive is not only gratifying, it is motivating to be even more productive. Being productive usually means you are active doing something, which is always better than being on the couch!
10. Drop some weight if you are over weight. Taking a hold of the above steps along with watching more closely what you are putting in your mouth, will help you drop some weight. As a Diabetic, you will find yourself feeling physically better if you are not carrying around the extra weight. Keeping your weight down will become a natural stabilizer of your Type 2 Diabetes, given the other elements are also under control.
11. Recognize that you are part of a care team! You don’t necessarily have to feel like you are taking on challenges that go with Type 2 Diabetes management all by yourself. You have a built-in care team that consists of your doctor, your pharmacist, you and the people in your life that love you. Your doctor can also refer you to a dietician, as well as a Diabetes educator. Your pharmacist is also a very important team member who can answer questions for you and help keep you on track.
12. Manage your medication well. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, you are the only one that can make sure you take them as prescribed. These do wonders for you, but only when you take them as you should be.
13. Be diligent at testing your blood sugar so you always know where you stand. Often, you could be surprised at your status, either higher or lower than you might realize. Knowing where you stand is the only real way you will be able to know how best to manage things to remain successful in your Type 2 Diabetes control. There are some awesome apps for your phone that can help you keep track and records of your blood sugar history, weight, etc. Having all this information in one handy place is a great tool for both you and your doctor.
14. Stress management comes into play, as well. As this is a trickier element, doing your best to reduce stresses in your life will ultimately help you manage certain parts of your Type 2 Diabetes. Read books or articles on stress management to help, if need be. Meditation, exercise also both can assist in stress reduction.
15. Take stock in yourself and remember to pat yourself on the back. Reward yourself and your efforts in carrying through your commitments. If you are taking these steps and taking your care of yourself seriously, then you do deserve a just reward!